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Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 534

JOHN W. SHAVER. Success comes not to the man who idly waits, but to the toilers of the world, they who are persistent, energetic and diligent. To this class belongs John W. Shaver and today he is the owner of extensive landed interests, having nine hundred and seventy-two acres in Menard county. He was born in Sangamon county at the old Twelve Mile House, March 18, 1856, his parents being William and Jane (Ross) Shaver. His father was born in the eastern part of Virginia, March 13, 1818, and lived in his native state until thirty-five years of age, when he went to Ohio, where he remained for several years. In 1850 he made his way westward to California and spent about eight months in mining in the golden state, meeting with very gratifying success during that period. This gave him his first early start in life, but in later years he prospered through his farming interests. He returned to Illinois and after spending a short time in Springfield he purchased the Twelve Mile House and farmed in Sangamon county, making his home there for four years. At the end of that time he sold the property and bought a farm in township 18 north, range 4 west, Menard county. He resided thereon for a long period and was recognized as one of the leading and enterprising business men of this part of the state, acquiring the greater part of his property in Menard county through his farming and stock raising interests. During the period of the Civil war he made a specialty of buying horses and mules, selling them again at good profit. During the latter years of his life he engaged in buying and selling cattle and hogs. He also raised many and fed others for the Chicago market. He was known as a man of honor in all business transactions, never taking advantage of the necessities of any one in a business affair. Thus his name became a synonym for integrity and his honesty as well as his prosperity won for him the confidence and respect of all with whom he was associated. While he was in California in its early mining days his health became somewhat impaired through exposure there and he never recovered his old strength, although for many years he continued an active factor in agricultural circles. He was united in marriage in early manhood when on a visit to Virginia in 1854, to Miss Jane Ross, of Augusta county, Virginia, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Reese) Ross. They became the parents of three children: John W., Lizzie, who was born September 8, 1857, and is now deceased; and Mary, who was born October 6, 1861, and has also passed away. Mr. Shaver continued to reside in Menard county until his death, which occurred August 10, 1870, and his remains were interred in the Fancy Creek cemetery.

John W. Shaver was brought to Menard county when three years of age and was educated in the public schools. When not occupied with his text books he worked upon the farm and when twelve years of age was enabled to do as much as any hand upon the place. He assisted materially in harvest time and, in fact, became familiar in all departments of the farm labor. After his father's death he managed the home place and, superintending the business interests for his mother he has always devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits and has made a success of his business by reason of his close application and earnest purpose, guided by sound judgment. For a long period he has engaged in feeding and shipping stock. For eight years after his father's death he continued to operate the old homestead, but later he sold his farm implements and for the past eleven years he has engaged in buying, feeding and shipping stock, handling most of the stock sent to the city markets from Fancy Prairie. He now has on hand one hundred and eight head of cattle and about one hundred and fifty head of hogs and the cattle are now all ready for shipment.

On the 13th of October, 1880, Mr. Shaver was united in marriage to Miss Jannette G. Jones, a daughter of David G. and Matilda A. Jones. Her mother was twice married, her maiden name being Cline, while at the time of her marriage to Mr. Jones she was Mrs. Lynch, a widow. Mr. Jones was born December 12, 1818, in Louisa county, Virginia, and when thirteen years of age removed to Ross county, Ohio, where he was reared to manhood. On the 28th of March, 1841, he wedded Miss Sarah Gooding, by whom he had five children and in April, 1855, he removed to Logan county, Illinois, where he continued to make his home until his death. His first wife died May 23, 1861, and he afterward wedded Mrs. Matilda Lynch. By their marriage there were two daughters, Jannette G., born July 1, 1863; and Augusta, born February 8, 1866. Mr. Jones carried on farming and stock raising for many years and was a representative and reliable business man of his community. Unto John W. and Jannette (Jones) Shaver was born one child, Lilly M., whose birth occurred August 9, 1881, and who is now the wife of Bayless L. Barber, who resides at Cantrall, Illinois. On the 9th of January, 1889, Mr. Shaver was again married, his second union being with Nannie E. Gillespie, a daughter of James N. and Mary E. (Tyley) Gillespie, both of whom were natives of Virginia and spent their entire lives there. They became parents of nine children, all of whom are yet living, namely: Elizabeth E., who is married and resides in Texas; Mary J., who is married and makes her home in this state; Mrs. Shaver; Merchis D., who is married and resides in Illinois; Lutie F., who is married and lives in Iowa; Lucy A., who is married and makes her home at Fancy Prairie, Menard county; Edgar D. and William D., both of whom are married and live in Texas; and Frank, also a resident of Texas. The father of these children was a farmer and carpenter and while carrying on agricultural pursuits he also engaged in stock raising. His religious faith was that of the Methodist church, in which he held membership. He died January 6, 1894, and his wife passed away February 20, 1885. By the second marriage of Mr. Shaver four children have been born: Jane, born October 21, 1889; Mary E., born October 24, 1891; Willie R., born June 15, 1894; and Helen Pauline, born August 30, 1903.

Mr. Shaver, who is a Democrat in politics, never sought or desired public office, preferring to devote his attention to business affairs. He has, however, served as school director for about twenty-seven years and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. He belongs to Tanely lodge, No. 203, A.F. & A.M., having been made a Mason about twenty years ago, and throughout this time he has exemplified in his life the beneficent and helpful spirit of the craft. He attends to some extent and supports the Presbyterian church, of which his wife is a member. His is one of the fine farms of the county, he owning nine hundred and seventy-two acres of valuable land within the borders of Menard county and one hundred and sixty acres in Logan county. He has upon his place the finest walnut grove in the state of Illinois. Modern equipments and accessories there indicate his progressive spirit and also the success that has attended his efforts and he stands today among the reliable business men, respected and admired for what he has accomplished and also for the honorable methods that he has followed in winning his prosperity.

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